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Sally B
Type Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
Manufacturer Boeing
Construction number 8693
Registration G-BEDF
Serial 44-85784
In service 1945-1954
Fate Airworthy
Preserved at Duxford
Sally B with a P-47 (in Oct 2006)

Sally B is the name of an airworthy 1945-built Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. It was delivered to the United States Army Air Force on 19 June 1945 as 44-85784, after being converted to both a TB-17G and then an EB-17G is was stuck off charge in 1954. Bought by the Institut Geographique National in France as a survey aircraft. In 1975 it moved to England to be restored to wartime condition as a memorial to the USAAF B-17 airman who lost their lives in the European theatre. It is based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, England.[1]

Elly Sallingboe was awarded the Transport Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 in recognition of over thirty years of dedication to the preservation and operation of Britain's only airworthy Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the 'Sally B', as a flying memorial to the tens of thousands of American aircrew who lost their lives over Britain and mainland Europe in her sister aircraft during the Second World War.

The Sally B was used in the film Memphis Belle as one of 5 flying B-17s needed for various film scenes, and it was used to replicate the real Memphis Belle in one scene. Half of the aircraft is still in the Memphis Belle livery.

Since 1982, Sally B has been operated by Elly Sallingboe's B-17 Preservation and maintained by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and a team of volunteers. The aircraft is flown by volunteer experienced professional pilots. In 2008, Elly Sallingboe was awarded the Transport Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of over thirty years of dedication to the preservation and operation of Britain's only airworthy Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as a flying memorial to the tens of thousands of American aircrew who lost their lives in her sister aircraft during the Second World War.

The B-17 was critical to the USAAF daylight precision bombing campaign and was armed with thirteen machine guns, hence the name "Flying Fortress".

Flying in formation, the Fortresses battled through German defences in daylight raids, suffering heavy casualties until the addition of long-range escort fighters, the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang, and the introduction of the twenty five mission limit.

Combat crews lives were measured in weeks rather than months but, despite the high casualty rate, B-17's became famous for returning home with terrible battle damage and were fondly regarded by their crews for this quality.

One of the key events in the flying calendar for 'Sally B' is an annual tribute flypast following the Memorial Day service at the American Military Cemetery at Madingley, Cambridge. This takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Flypasts over former Eighth Air Force bases are also carried out whenever possible during the summer months.


Photos taken at Rotterdam Airport Airshow, May 1985

References

  1. ^ "Sally B:The History". www.sallyb.org.uk/. http://www.sallyb.org.uk/index.php?_a=viewDoc&docId=5. Retrieved 2008-07-29.  

External links

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